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February 28th, 2009 - Phil's Rambling Rants

February 28th, 2009

February 28th, 2009
05:30 pm

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Kickapoo walk
It wasn't a terribly inviting day, but it wasn't raining and it was cold enough that the muddy ground was partly frozen.  I needed to get outside, so I went to Kickapoo.  I parked at the start of the Out and Back, then went in by the Emerald Pond trail and up to my favorite lunch spot.  The wind off the lake was much too brisk to sit in my usual spot, but I found a spot on the lee side of the hill that was fine.  Then I came back along the Out and Back, for a nice total of about 5 miles.

I didn't see any signs of spring in the plants.  There were a few birds around.  A kingfisher, lots of noisy geese, tree sparrows, juncos, crows, a red-bellied woodpecker, a red-tail, and most pleasing to me, some bluebirds.  Along the river on the Emerald Pond trail, beavers have been wreaking havoc.  They've taken down several large trees, blocking the path in one place.  The only furry critter I actually saw was a possum which actually looked rather cute.

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TimeEvent
08:58 pm

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Book review: Dragonmaster
Today's book review is Dragonmaster by Chris Bunch.

This appears to be the first book in a series.  It ends at a reasonable point for a book in a series, no cliffhanger but some important things unresolved.

I really wanted to like this book.  I have a weakness for fluffy fantasy adventures with dragons, which I expected this to be.  Unfortunately, even given my bias, I have to say that this book was pretty bad.  Things kept happening that just didn't seem to fit in the world; the world itself seems to be vaguely defined so that whatever the plot requires at the moment can be pulled out of it.  The dragons themselves are ineffectual in some cases but deadly in others.  They're extremely dangerous even to their handlers some of the time but docile enough that their handlers can be completely complacent other times.  They have about the intelligence of a horse, except for a couple of places that clearly hint at more, but then the hints aren't followed.  Most of the individual scenes are decent, but there are so many places where things just don't fit that it's very hard to stay immersed in the story.  I did enjoy it some, but "peasant kid becomes a dragon rider" should be a slam dunk for me.

4 out of 10.

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